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Polish president reaffirms right to shechitah

(JTA) – Polish President Bronisław Komorowski said he supports European Jews’ right to kosher slaughter, or shechitah.

“In Poland, we are proud to stand firm in supporting the Jewish community’s right to shechitah, and will play our full part in the EU deliberations,” the president said at a meeting with a delegation of rabbis from the Conference of European Rabbis at the presidential palace in Warsaw.

This week’s meeting took place amid growing concern about shechitah bans in Europe. Over the summer, the Dutch House of Representatives became the latest European body to ban the practice.

The meeting was part of this week’s convention of the Conference of European Rabbis in Warsaw, which drew 200 rabbis, making it the largest gathering of Jewish religious leaders in Poland since World War II.

“Today we are asking all the governments of Europe to unite with us in preserving the European tradition of religious freedom and religious pluralism,” Moscow’s chief rabbi, Pinchas Goldschmidt, said at the group’s gala dinner. “Together we must implore the Dutch Senate not to ratify a law which will ban a most humane and divinely appointed method of religious slaughter.”

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